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The Constitution of the Society of Cayman Architects, Surveyors and Engineers (CASE) requires the issue of a Code laying down the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of members. This is that Code, as adapted and amended from the principles and standards held by other international organisations promoting excellence in the practice of architecture, engineering and surveying.

Any failure to comply with all the provisions of this Code shall be taken into account in any disciplinary proceedings before the Disciplinary Committee of CASE If the Disciplinary Committees finds that a member is in breach of this Code of Conduct in conjunction with any other relevant factors that bring the member and CASE into disrepute, that member shall be expelled. A disciplinary order may be made against members if they are convicted of a criminal offence, other than where that offence has no material relevance to their fitness topractise as an architect, surveyor or engineer.

Members are expected to be guided in their professional conduct and professional work by the spirit of this Code as well as by its express terms. The fact that a course of conduct is not specifically referred to in the Code does not mean that it cannot form the basis of disciplinary proceedings. Each case is judged on its facts, and there may be circumstances in which unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence is found even where there has been no clear breach of the express terms of this Code. This Code is intended as a living document and as such will be regularly reviewed and updated to encompass key considerations and concerns in this jurisdiction.

1.0 Honesty and Integrity

1.1 Members are expected at all times to act with honesty and integrity and to avoid any actions or situations which are inconsistent with their professional obligations. This standard underpins this Code and will be taken to be required in any consideration of members conduct under any of the other standards and any other professional conduct codes that members subscribe to.

1.2 Members should not make any statement which is contrary to their professional opinion or which they know to be misleading, unfair to others or discreditable to their profession.

1.3 Where a conflict of interest arises members are expected to disclose it in writing and manage it to the satisfaction of all affected parties. Members should seek written confirmation that all parties involved give their informed consent to their continuing to act. Where this consent is not received members should cease acting for one or more of the parties.

1.4 Members should not attempt to gain an advantage over other members by making or receiving any payment or other inducement for the introduction or referral of work. If this practice is acceptable in other codes of conduct members subscribe to, members are advised to declare at the outset to the Client any inducements made to secure the work.

1.5 Where members are privy to confidential information, members should respect the confidentiality and privacy of others and not use any confidential information to further their own or others self ]interest. Such information must not be used by members for their personal benefit, nor should it be disclosed to any third party without their prior consent, preferably in writing, of the person or company it concerns.

1.5.1 In instances where disclosure of confidential information may be required to be in compliance with a court order or requirement of law, members are expected to obey the law and disclose the information they hold to the appropriate authorities.

1.6 Members must adhere to any reasonable contractual provisions regarding confidentiality and should also comply with the legal rights of privacy. For example, members should be cautious about taking photographs of private buildings from public highways with the intention of publishing them, or discussing private details with third parties such as journalists, if there has been no explicit permission to do so. Members should therefore ascertain from their clients what type of publicity they will allow about their project, and agree the terms and conditions for publication. This also applies to a member’s own promotional material.

1.6.1 Data held by members concerning others must be handled in accordance with the prevailing data protection legislation.

2.0 Competence

2.1 Members are expected to be competent to carry out the professional work members undertake to do, and if members engage others to do that work members should ensure that they are competent and adequately supervised. If members feel that they are unable to comply with this, they are required to decline the work, in question, i.e. not undertake it in part or in whole or quote for the work.

2.2 Members are expected to make appropriate arrangements for their professional work in the event of incapacity, death, absence from, or inability to, work.

2.3 Members are expected to ensure that the necessary communication skills and local knowledge are available to them to discharge their responsibilities.

2.3.1 Particularly the terms of appointment, the scope of the work and the essential project requirements must be clear and recorded in writing. Members should explain to their clients the implications of any conditions of engagement and how their fees are to be calculated and charged.

2.3.2 Members must maintain appropriate records throughout their engagement. Members must keep their clients informed of the progress of a project and of the key decisions made on the client’s behalf.

2.4 Members are expected to keep their knowledge and skills relevant to their professional work up to date, inclusive of continuing professional development education, and promote and facilitate the continuing professional development of any employees. Members are also expected to be aware of the content of any guidelines issued by CASE from time to time.

2.5 Members are expected to use their best and honest endeavors to meet the client’s agreed time, cost and quality requirements for the project.

3.0 Honest promotion of Member services

3.1 Members are expected to promote their professional services in a truthful and responsible manner.

3.2 In advertising and promoting their professional services members should comply with the codes and principles applying to advertising generally. An advertisement shall not contain or include

  1. A statement or promise which is misleading to a reasonable person.
  2. A statement or promise which at the time the advertisement is issued or made is untrue.
  3. A statement, opinion or promise which at the time the advertisement is issued or made is not believed to be an honest statement or opinion.
  4. A misleading statement about the scale of work or activities, or the resources available to conduct said work.
  5. A misleading statement about past performance.

3.2.1 The content or format of any advertisement shall not:

  1. Be designed so it’s likely to be misunderstood by a reasonable person.
  2. Be presented in such a way that it is not clearly identified as an advertisement.

3.3 Where members are engaged in any form of competition to win work or awards, they should act fairly and honestly with potential clients and competitors. Any competition process in which they are participating must be known to be reasonable, transparent and impartial. If members find this not to be the case, they should endeavour to rectify the competition process or withdraw.

3.4 The business style of a practice should not be misleading.

3.5 If members are a principal in a practice they are expected to ensure that all architectural, surveying and engineering work is under the control and management of one or more architects, surveyors and engineers and that their names are made known to clients and any relevant third party. Members should notify their client promptly of any change in the architect, surveyor and engineer responsible for the work. Members shall also notify any regulatory agencies, authorities or departments of a change to the architect, surveyor or engineer on record for a particular project as applicable.

4.0 Competent management of Member businesses, firms or practices

4.1 Members are expected to have effective systems in place to ensure that their practice is run professionally and that projects are regularly monitored and reviewed.

4.2 Members should ensure that they are able to provide adequate professional, financial and technical resources when entering into a contract and throughout its duration. Members should also, where appropriate, ensure they have sufficient suitably qualified and supervised staff to provide an effective and efficient service to clients.

4.3 Members should ensure that adequate security is in place to safeguard both paper and electronic records of their clients, taking full account of data protection legislation, and that clients’ confidential information is safeguarded.

4.4 Members are expected to ensure that before they undertake any professional work, they have entered into a written agreement with the client which adequately covers:

  1. the contracting parties;
  2. the scope of the work;
  3. the fee or method of calculating it;
  4. who will be responsible for what;
  5. any constraints or limitations on the responsibilities of the parties
  6. the provisions for suspension or termination of the agreement;
  7. a statement that members have adequate and appropriate insurance cover;
  8. Members complaints-handling procedure (see Principle 10), including details of any special arrangements for resolving disputes (e.g. arbitration).

4.4.1 Any agreed variations to the written agreement should be recorded in writing.

4.4.2 Members are expected to ensure that their client agreements record that Members are a member of the Society of Cayman Islands Architects, Surveyors and Engineers (CASE) and that members are subject to this Code; and that the client can refer a complaint to the Society of Cayman Islands Architects, Surveyors and Engineers (CASE) if their conduct or competence appears to fall short of the standards in this Code.

4.4.3 Members should make clear to the client the extent to which any of their architectural, surveying or engineering services are being subcontracted.

4.4.4 At the end of a contract (if requested) or otherwise upon reasonable demand Members should promptly return to a client any papers, plans or property to which the client is legally entitled.

4.5 Members are required to observe all relevant laws and regulatory requirements in force in the Cayman Islands and in the jurisdictions of member registration and or licensure.

5.0 Considering the wider impact of member’s work

5.1 Whilst member’s primary responsibility is to their clients, members should take into account the environmental impact of their professional activities as well as having proper concern and due regard for the effect of their work on users and the local community. 

6.0 Execute professional work faithfully, conscientiously and with due regard to relevant technical and professional standards

6.1 Members are expected to carry out their work promptly and with skill and care and in accordance with the terms of their engagement.

6.2 Members should carry out their professional work without undue delay and, so far is reasonably practicable, in accordance with any time-scale and cost limits agreed with their client.

6.3 Members are expected to keep their clients informed of the progress of work undertaken on their behalf and of any issue which may significantly affect its quality or cost.

6.4 Members should, when acting between parties or giving advice, exercise impartial and independent professional judgment. If members are to act as both architect or surveyor or engineer and contractor, members should make it clear in writing that their advice will no longer be impartial.

7.0 Trustworthiness and safeguarding client’s money

7.1 Members are expected to keep proper records of all money held by them which belongs to a client or other third party, and to account for it at all times.

7.2 Members should keep such money in a designated interest-bearing bank account, called a “client account” which is separate from any personal or business account.

7.3 Members are expected to instruct the bank in writing and ensure that all money in the client account is held as clients f money, and that the bank cannot combine it with any other account, or exercise any right of set-off or counterclaim against it.

7.4 Members should ensure that money is not withdrawn from a client account to make a payment unless it is made to or on behalf of a client on the client’s specific written instructions.

7.5 Unless otherwise agreed by the client, members should arrange for any interest (or other benefit) accruing from a client account to be paid to the client.

8.0 Insurance arrangements

8.1 Members are expected to have adequate and appropriate insurance cover for themselves, their practice and their employees. Members should ensure that their insurance is adequate to meet a claim, whenever it is made. Members are expected to maintain a minimum level of cover, including professional indemnity and run-off cover.

8.2 The need for cover extends to professional work undertaken outside of member’s main practice or employment.

8.3 If members are an employed architect, surveyor or engineer members should, as far as possible, ensure that insurance cover and/ or other appropriate indemnity arrangements are provided by their employer.

8.4 Members are expected to provide evidence that they have met the standards expected of this standard if and or when it should be required.

9.0 Maintaining the reputation of professional architects, surveyors, and engineers

9.1 Members should ensure that their professional finances are managed responsibly.

9.2 Members are expected to conduct themselves in a way which does not bring either themself or the profession into disrepute. If members find themselves in a position where they know that they have fallen short of these standards, or that their conduct could reflect badly on the profession, members are expected to report the matter to CASE For example, Members should notify the Secretary within 28 days if they:

  1. are convicted of a criminal offence;
  2. are made the subject of a court order disqualifying them from acting as a company director;
  3. are made the subject of a bankruptcy order;
  4. are a director of a company which is wound up (other than for amalgamation or reconstruction purposes);
  5. make an accommodation with creditors (including a voluntary arrangement);
  6. fail to pay a judgment debt.

These are examples of acts which may be examined in order to ascertain whether they disclose a willful disregard of their responsibilities or a lack of integrity; however this list is not exhaustive.

9.3 In appropriate circumstances, members should report to CASE and/or other public authority another architect, surveyor or engineer whose conduct falls significantly short of the expected standards. If members are in doubt as to whether such a report is required, members should consult CASE for guidance.

9.4 Standard 9.3 may not apply to the contents of privileged information given to members when acting as an arbitrator, adjudicator, mediator, conciliator or expert witness.

9.5 Members should not enter into any contract (other than in a settlement of a dispute) the terms of which would prevent any party from reporting an apparent breach of the Code to CASE.

9.6 If members are subject to an investigation by the Disciplinary Committee of CASE members are expected to use their best endeavours to assist in that investigation.

10.0 Deal with disputes or complaints appropriately

10.1 Members are expected to have a written procedure for prompt and courteous handling of complaints which will be in accordance with this Code and provide this to clients. This should include the name of the architect, surveyor or engineer who will respond to complaints.

10.2 Complaints should be handled courteously and promptly at every stage; and as far as practicable in accordance with the following time scales:

10.2.1 An acknowledgement within 10 working days from the receipt of a complaint; and

10.2.2 A response addressing the issues raised in the initial letter of complaint within 30 working days from its receipt.

10.3 If appropriate, members should encourage alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation or conciliation.

11.0 Co-operation with the Disciplinary Committee

11.1 Members are expected to co•]operate fully and promptly with the Disciplinary Committee of CASE, and within any specified timescale, if it asks members to provide information which it needs to carry out its duties, including evidence that members are complying with these standards.

11.2 Members should notify CASE promptly and in writing of any changes in the details held about them on the Membership roll, including their address.

12.0 Respect for others

12.1 Members should treat everyone fairly, including: associates, employers, clients, members of the public and employees. Members are expected to comply with good employment practice and the Labour and Gender Equality Law, in their capacity as an employer or an employee. Members should not discriminate because of disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or any other inappropriate consideration.

13.0 Building Good working relationships

13.1 Members should neither maliciously nor unfairly seek to damage another member’s reputation or practice.

13.2 Members should not deliberately approach another architect’s, surveyors or engineers client in a conscious attempt to take over an active project. Members should therefore avoid, as far as possible, sending advertising mailshots, or any other forms of practice publicity, aimed at a specific project where it is apparent that another architect has already been appointed. This does not prohibit speculative approaches to developers who regularly engage members.

13.3 When members are approached by clients to undertake work on an existing project, reasonable enquiries should be made to establish whether or not any other architects, surveyors or engineers as the case may be already involved. If there is a prior involvement, members must clarify with the client whether their role will be to replace an appointed architect, surveyor or engineer or take on separate work within the same project.Members should, unless there is a justifiable reason not to, inform the appointed architect, surveyor or engineer that the client has approached them. However, if the client denies or fails to mention that another architect, surveyor or engineer is already engaged for this work, the Disciplinary committee is unlikely to regard an omission to notify the original architect, surveyor or engineer as professional misconduct.

13.4 In whatever circumstances a member takes over a project started by someone else, CASE regards it as good practice to contact the consultants previously engaged in order to establish that their appointment was properly determined and the client holds a licence to use any information (such as drawings, specifications, calculations etc.) they prepared during their commission.

13.5 The contribution of others to a member’s work should be appropriately acknowledged. Members should not seek to pass off someone else’s work as their own and should give proper credit as applicable.

13.6 Members engaged to review, appraise or comment on another member’s work should do so fairly and objectively, based on their own knowledge and experience. Members should not engage in personal criticisms of other members, nor attempt to discredit their work in order to gain advantage.

13.7 Members should seek appropriate advice when faced with a situation which they recognise as being outside their own or their practice’s experience or capabilities.